I’m scheduled to be on KUOW’s Weekday program to talk light rail construction and life on Capitol Hill. Could be Monday. Could be Wednesday. Depends on when officials can make time in their schedules. Depends on whether more interesting topics emerge. So it goes for the coming light rail construction — nobody knows how much attention to pay it.
After all, Sound Transit has already been digging tunnels and laying track across south Seattle for years now. Their University Link project is more of the same, right? When they start tearing down buildings next month, it won’t be any worse than the projects underway south of us in neighborhoods like Beacon Hill, right?
I’ve asked a variant of this question before. Here’s one answer:
Beacon Hill is different byPairustwo – 4 months ago
I’ve been a first hand witness to the Beacon Hill dig and what you get is a single building made of blue plywood that is exactly one block wide and one block long, about two stories high. No roof. That is the sound deadening around the dig. Not pretty, not hideous. I think the big difference between the two is that Denny and Broadway are (were) in the center of a pedestrian thoroughfare and commercial corridor. The beacon hill dig is across the street from a Red Apple parking lot. Not a lot of foot traffic around there. The streets are not as small around Beacon Hill. I can’t imagine what it will be like pushing those trucks up and down John/Denny. And blocking the freeway for 9 months…Jesus.
I went digging through some of the neighborhood blogs from the areas where light rail construction is underway and moving toward completion to see what they have written about light rail construction’s impact. Mostly, the focus seems to be on positive (and some negative) changes the rail system will bring to the character of the areas — not a lot of hand wringing about the pains of digging and construction.
- The Beacon Hill blog speculates about the possible rise in home values along the rail line.
- And BH is also in the midst of discussions that seem far off for Capitol Hill like what kind of businesses do residents want to see involved with the light rail station’s commercial space.
- The Mid Beacon Hill blog laments — and celebrates — the buildings and areas that will no doubt make way for development with the arrival of light rail.
- The Rainier Valley Post concerns itself with changes to the area’s bus routes and parking.
- And the boys at Central District News get geeky with video of the tunnel boring machine.
- Even a site devoted to the topic of public transit can’t find anything worse to post than schedule delays and cost overruns along with a “they seem to be doing a fabulous job.”
Maybe the sites are all too new and the phases of construction all passed, but there is not a “Woe to ye who dare to tunnel” post in the bunch. Check the rest of Googledom, too. Nothing.
So maybe Capitol Hill has nothing to worry about. We worried about a dead zone from abandoned buildings, they gave us art to fill it. The chamber of commerce has a war fund to help it thrive and survive. We asked for a fruit market and, heck, we’ll probably get that too. Maybe tearing down four blocks and digging a tunnel in the densest neighborhood Sound Transit has ever worked in won’t be the big deal you might have expected. Could make for the most boring hour on KUOW. If we don’t get bumped.